• Cyril McAree

Ministers Ryan And Mallon To Progress Feasibility Study For High Speed Rail

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D in partnership with the Minister for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland), Nichola Mallon MLA agreed at today’s meeting of the North South Ministerial Council to progress the feasibility study for high speed rail, which was an Irish Government commitment in New Decade, New Approach.

In agreeing the study, both Ministers are committed to ensuring the study includes consideration of the wider rail network and in particular connectivity to the North-West.

Speaking after this afternoon’s North South Ministerial Transport meeting Minister Ryan said:

As discussed at today’s North South Ministerial Council, we’re committed to improving cross-border connectivity. While the Belfast-Dublin-Limerick Junction-Cork line is recogniSed as the spine of rail connectivity on the island, we need to ensure that any review of speed considers the wider network and in particular connectivity to the North-West. This study will be one of the most significant reviews of the rail network on the island in many years and will provide a framework to develop a much improved rail network in the years ahead.’

Minister Mallon added:

“Improving connectivity across our island is key in delivering better opportunities for communities, greening our infrastructure and enhancing our island wide economy. I am delighted that Minister Ryan and I both share a passion for enhancing our island rail network and that we are committed to working together to achieve transformative projects that serve all of our communities.

The commitment in New Decade, New Approach to exploring high speed rail is vitally important and I’m pleased that in both parts of our island we are working together to make progress. Minister Ryan and I both recognise that the North West and Derry in particular has suffered decades of neglect and under investment and it cannot be left behind any longer. Therefore building on the feasibility study agreed in NDNA we have agreed that the study will also include Derry to ensure that opportunities that better connect our island, drive economic growth, investment and allow for greener, cleaner travel are inclusive and extended to the North West.”

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